Monday, August 30, 2010

Green Mama: 10 Tips for Planning a Unique (Green) Baby Shower

I need one of my local friends to get pregnant....need it, because I am dying to throw a green, AP-friendly baby shower. I love baby showers, but too often the party celebrates what my husband calls "the worst in parenting." Diaper cakes made from disposable diapers, games featuring bottle feeding, and measuring the poor mama's waist with toilet paper (ok, this isn't technically anti-AP, it's just kinda mean). So here are 10 awesome ideas for a baby shower that promotes eco-friendliness and attachment!

1. Forgo the traditional diaper cake and make one from cloth diapers! Let's face it, old school diaper cakes with their plasticy look and smell are so last century. Consider using prefolds, which are easy to work with, and the mama-to-be can use them as diapers or burp cloths. Colorful cloth wipes can be rolled to make flowers to decorate it and diaper pins can be used to help hold it together. Not up to making one of your own, check out these cloth diaper cakes from I Dream in Green on etsy!
2. Lose the plastic cups, paper napkins, and throwaway forks and invest in some reusable party wear or borrow some from a friend. Growing up my mom had three sets of awesome glass vintage party plates. These glass plates were big enough to hold cake or food and had a grooved spot where a matching punch cup sat. Totally chic and you'll never have to buy paper plates for another function! And let's face it, they immediately class up any function. You can find them at antique malls, ebay, and estate sales, or maybe even your grandma's house!

3. Don't tell Emily Post, but paper invites are perfectly passé. Use a program like evite or set up an event on facebook to give your guests the details. People can RSVP and pass important info on your party page. You can always call or write a letter invitation for the less tech-saavy guests.

4. Dying to send something in the mail? Make your invite a cherished keepsake by crafting a beautiful portrait of the mom-to-be that guests can frame. Use an old baby photo of the parents or take a few shots that showcase her pregnant glow. Keep the event details to a minimum and put them on the back, so the invite can be framed or places in a scrapbook. Or consider including a place for a survey or a spot to answer a question about the mom that each guest returns to the party for a keepsake for mom's memory book! Websites like have customization options at affordable prices on baby shower invitations.

5. Make it a green theme and ask gifts to each bring one cloth diaper to build mom's stash! Not only will this get your mom a leg up on her cloth diapering, it will educate guests on how far cloth has come. Many online cloth diaper sites now offer baby registries!

6. Play attachment-friendly games! Get a couple of wraps and baby dolls and challenge guests to wear their "baby." Afterward demonstrate an easy wrap mama can use with her newborn. Play "Musical Baby" - while the music plays everyone dances with their baby, when it stops, grab a chair with sleeping baby doll, remove a chair each round like musical chairs, start the music back up when "baby cries." This game promotes great calming techniques.

7. Ask guests to share a memory book! Everyone has advice for a new mom, but rather than bombarding her with good intentions, create a book for guests to share their happiest memory of life as a mom/dad or big sister/brother, younger kids can share their happiest memory of their mom. It will be a beautiful reminder for the new parents to treasure each moment.

8. Choose eco-friendly prizes for your shower games. Burt's Bees baby wash, a bouquet made from reusable cloth wipes, or a food mill to make baby food are all inexpensive, useful gifts to award as prizes for shower games.

9. Build a breastfeeding support basket with items to smooth the transition to breastfeeding for the new mom. Include items like a water bottle, granola bars, nipple cream, and magazines/books. You don't have to spend a lot. Just include some supplies she can keep near her glider for a quick snack or to entertain her during those initial long stretches of nursing.

10. Give reusable bags as favors. Skip the cutesy plastic bottles and baby pacifiers you'll find for favors in the party aisle and pick up canvas bags to decorate (how about painting them with "love your mother"). If you're crafty, sew up quick bags. Attach a card with info on how much one reusable bag benefits the planet. Getting guests to switch even to one reusable bag each creates a lasting legacy for the child and helps protect the planet for him or her. Coffee Pot People has directions for making a 1 minute bag from upcycled tank tops here.

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Tonia said... [Reply to comment]

I bought those plates and cups at a thrift store
a long time ago, so cute.

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